Town of Pittsford, Vermont

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Recreation Director's Report 
 March 10, 2009

            Even though there is snow still covering the ground outside the office the annual spring push has begun. It's a time of excitement and anticipation of warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours.

On Friday, February 13, 2009 the Pittsford Recreation Department sponsored our annual Valentines Day Teen Dance at the VT Police Academy. 152 teens in grades 7-10 participated in this event. I'd like to thank the parent chaperones who volunteered their time to help out. Thank you to Kelly Carter, Kelly Giard, Rob Ketcham, Paula Rosen, Tom Shannon, Kim Webster, & Mark Winslow. I'd also like to recognize Megan Bradley and Kathy Shortsleeves who operated the concession stand.

My thanks to John D'Esposito for coordinating the police officers we have present at each of our teen dances at no cost to the Recreation Department. These officers are sponsored by the Rutland County's START (Stop Teen Alcohol Risk Team) in an effort to help bring about healthy, drug and alcohol-free, fun activities for the area kids. Thank you to VT Dept. of Motor Vehicles Enforcement Officer, Adam Pockette, who was present that night to provide an extra layer of security.

On Wednesday, February 17, 2009 the Recreation Department sponsored a School Break Fun Day program. From time to the time, usually during a school vacation, the Recreation Department sponsors fun and exciting field trips in order to get children out of the house to engage in some social interaction and to participate in some type of physical activity. We had 22 (1st - 6th grade) students who went "indoor rock climbing" with us at the Green Mountain Climbing Center in the morning. After lunch, the group enjoyed an afternoon of swimming in the Mitchell Therapy Pool at VAC.

On Saturday, February 28, 2009 the Pittsford Recreation Department in conjunction with the Pittsford Trails Committee scheduled our 7th annual Winter Celebration at the Caldwell Trail. Participants of all ages were invited to get outdoors and enjoy an afternoon of exercise and fun with their family and friends. Due to rain the day before and close to a 40 degree drop in temperature we were forced to cancel the event. The day was bright and sunny but the trails were covered with a thick layer of ice making them treacherous to walk, hike, or ski on. This was an unfortunate turn of events since the 2008 event had seen record numbers of over 125 people attending and I felt the program was picking up in popularity. Even though the event was cancelled I'd still like to recognize the local businesses that had agreed to contribute to this event, the Great Outdoors Trading Company, Kamuda's Market, Keith's Country Store, and finally to Winning Image Graphix. Hopefully we'll try again next year.

On Sunday, March 1, 2009 the Recreation Department began year number two of the ski & snowboard program at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. Thirty students of various ages and skill levels are participating in this four week program. Students are divided in small groups based on skill level and each week will receive a one hour lesson from a Snow Bowl instructor. After each class the students have 2 hours to ski or ride. The kids that demonstrate that they are chair lift ready to their instructors are given passes which allows them to ride a lift up and work on refining the skills they have learned as they descend the mountain. The remaining students, or beginners, continue to practice their stopping and turning in the "Discovery Zone" (a.k.a. bunny slope). It's amazing how much some of these kids have learned since the beginning of last March. The goal for everyone is that by the end of the four weeks each and every child will be proficient enough to ride a chairlift up the mountain and ski or ride down a beginner trail in a controlled manner. The Snow Bowl instructors have been very professional working with our group. They have a great deal of knowledge and are able to pass that on to our skiers & riders.

On Friday, March 6, 2009, the Pittsford Recreation Department and the Maclure Library, along with the Lothrop PTO hosted our largest Family Fun Night ever. Over one hundred and eighty (180) people attended this "Circus Comes to Town" event which was held at the Vermont Police Academy. Family Fun Nights are designed for our local families with children in the third grade and younger. The Maclure Library supplied several wonderful art & craft projects. Children enjoyed making clown hats, animal trains, and lion puppets. The Recreation Department and the PTO co-sponsored the two separate bounce houses. One was for the younger children so they had their own space to play. The second bounce apparatus was an obstacle type course that the kids had to crawl, run, and jump through. This was a fun way for the kids to burn-off some of their built up energy. Also this was the first time Lothrop's PTO has been part of the Family Fun Nights but we must have left a great impression on them because the PTO contacted me this morning to invite the Recreation Department and the Maclure Library to be part of Lothrop's end of school celebration in June. At this point it appears that they want to do a Family Fun Night type program at the Recreation Area the Friday night before school is out.

            The Pittsford Day Committee members met on February 25, 2009 to continue planning for the 2009 summer event. I reported last month the Committee all agreed that we should not hold the event on the 4th of July, because that's the day of the Great Brandon Parade. With that in mind we discussed other dates and it was decided that Saturday, July 18, noon - 5 pm would work best for the committee. The next meeting Pittsford Day Committee is Wednesday, March 11 at 6:30 pm at the Town Offices.

On Thursday, February 26, 2009 (the 4th Thursday of each month), the Recreation Department & "Pittsford Seniors" sponsored their monthly luncheon at the VT Police Academy. Though 44 seniors had taken the time to pre-register, a quick moving storm that left less than a dusting of snow on the ground had some folks worried and only 33 actually ate the meal. Each luncheon features a keynote speaker. Pittsford resident Baird Morgan spoke about the Pittsford Community Corp., a non-profit organization that is working for the betterment of Pittsford. He discussed an exciting project to turn the Forrest Farm into a community center. The Sr. Luncheons give local seniors a nutritious meal at an affordable price ($4.50 donation for people 60 and older & $6.00 for everyone else) and the chance to socialize with neighbors and friends. The next monthly luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, March 26 @ 1:00 pm. By special request I'll be the keynote speaker for March. I'll be discussing my position as the Recreation Director, the Recreation Area, and all the ways the Recreation Department serves the community.

On March 8, 2009, the Pittsford Recreation Department and the Pittsford Seniors sponsored a trip to the Paramount Theatre to see the Irish Rovers. Transportation was provided to and from event. "The Bus" picked up and dropped folks off at the Town Offices. Many of the 20 seniors who participated wouldn't have otherwise gone to this fabulous show due because they are uncomfortable driving at night. This is the second year in a row that we've offered this trip and both times we've been able to fill "The Bus."

I'm happy to report that the "Safe Sitter" babysitter class finally filled all eight spots. I was slightly concerned because the week before the class was scheduled to begin there were still 3 vacant spots. With the help of some flyers I left at Lothrop we were able to fill the class.

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